Wake County Schools

Rising costs drive Wake schools' construction over budget

Posted May 13, 2015
Updated May 14, 2015

Map Marker  Find News Near Me

— Garner High School’s current building has seen plenty of history since it was built in 1967.

It will soon be replaced by a 4-story building. But changing times have even surpassed the soon-to-be-built facility.

“The contractor cost, that is going up,” said Kevin Hill, a Wake County school board member who sits on the district’s facilities committee. “The other thing is the infrastructure cost. That is going up, too.”

Other costs, including land value, have pushed the district’s construction projects over budget:

  • More than $7 million for Garner High
  • More than $6.2 million for Green Level High in Cary
  • More than $6 million for Pine Hollow Middle in Raleigh
  • Nearly $3.7 million for Scotts Ridge Elementary in Apex

Additional construction costs total nearly $50 million extra the district has to spend, a necessary expense due to Wake schools’ growing student population.

“It is shifting some funding in order to complete some projects,” Hill said.

School leaders are also considering a school construction bond proposal for next year.

8 Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • Charlie Jaxon May 14, 2015
    user avatar

    It's over budget because you take the cheapest bidders. Then you have to pay for others to come back to fix what they messed up at double the cost. And do not forget the back charges so you do not have to pay the contractors for the work.

  • Marcy Lyn May 14, 2015
    user avatar

    What does the Education Lottery money go ? Oh that's right,.... not to Education.

  • Marcy Lyn May 14, 2015
    user avatar

    What does the Education Lottery money go ? Oh that's right,.... not to Education.

  • Paul Donovan May 14, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    hang onto your wallet, the increases are just beginning with Democratically controlled County Government and a Democratically controlled School Board.

  • Ronnie Reams May 14, 2015
    user avatar

    Perhaps WCPSS uses cost plus contracts. DOD uses these a lot. You agree on a profit for the contractor and the total becomes the cost plus the profit. Lots of things can change the cost, such as change orders, inflation, unexpected impediments, etc.

  • Tom Boswell May 14, 2015
    user avatar

    November of 2013 voters gave 80% of a billion dollars increasing our taxes by 14%. The current budget increase will increase our taxes by 5%. The billion dollar bond that will be passed in November will increase our taxes by 17%. Add to this the upcoming wasted mass transit bond and our real estate taxes will increase well over 50%. Brought to you by the Democratic party.

  • Abrams Tanker May 14, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    Apparently you have never worked in engineering or project management. Often times the budget on large projects are set a few years ahead of the start date of the project. As we all know, the cost of labor and materials always increase. Another issue is that even the best engineered plans cannot predict unforeseen issues. Sometimes there are unknown utilities in the ground that a survey would not pick up. Have you ever started a project at home that you budgeted for only to realize it was going to cost you more than you anticipated? I have. I wanted to upgrade the shower head and handle. When I started moving the surround I found mold and had to gut the bathroom completely. What I though was a $250 upgrade ended up being an $1800 remediation project.

  • Norman Lewis May 14, 2015
    user avatar

    Can the school board find someone to plan projected expenses for new facilities that has some degree of competence? How is it that almost all the new schools are over budget? How is it land expenses, "contractor costs" (which should be set by contract) and "miscellaneous" costs always seem to exceed the budgeted amount? Possible the school board publicly announces a lower amount than actually expected to make the project more palatable to the people? An amount they know not to be realistic? To me, this sounds like fraud particularly if the board expects to be allowed to spend whatever the true cost happens to be regardless of the budget. I'm starting to think someone in the government tells the contractors to bid low and assures them they can bill the County the actual cost if awarded the contract.